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Mary Helen Baker Moss

May 3, 1926 December 3, 2021
Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Mary Helen Baker Moss
Mary Helen Baker Moss
Mary Helen Baker Moss

Mary Helen Baker Moss, 95, passed away on December 3 in Ruston. She was born in Denison, Texas, to John Christian Baker, Sr., and Mary Sue Rains, who raised her in a railroad-working family in towns across the valley of Texas, including Harlingen, Taylor, Denison, and Kingsville.

She received her high school diploma from Harlingen High School and bachelor’s from Southwestern University in Georgetown,Texas, where she was a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. She also received a master’s from the University of Houston and “Plus Thirty” distinction from Louisiana Tech University.

Not only was she welleducated in the classroom, but she also had street smarts. While attending the University of Houston, she was intimidated to drive at night on the busy freeway, so she found a route to campus using only the service roads, which was quite a feat given the lack of GPS and MapQuest at the time.

An educator for 41 years, she began her career in Kingsville, Texas, with subsequent teaching positions in the Houston Independent School District, Pasadena Independent School District, and Lincoln Parish Schools where she was the cheerleader, pep squad, and dance group sponsor.

She often chaperoned school events and dances using her whistle to keep kids out of the corners, much to the dismay and embarrassment of her own children.

As a member of the “Greatest Generation,” she was known for telling stories about historical events she witnessed firsthand. Her daughter, Libby, would interview her each year on the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack to hear her version of events. She loved the USO dances but disliked the nightly blackouts and huarache sandals being her only footwear option.

Growing up during the Great Depression left a mark on her through adulthood and this was never more evident as when she tried to save something for future use — even washing out Ziploc bags or saving the bows off Christmas boxes to use again next year.

She was frugal and was known to slip extra condiment packets into her purse, especially sugar packets that were so scarce during the war. Her love of dance and music never left her, and she could still toe-tap to all her favorites — Glenn Miller, The Andrews Sisters, and even more modern Motown music.

Of the many wonderful qualities Mary Helen had, her family will miss her kindness most. A devoted Christian who read her bible and devotional journal daily, she best exhibited her faith through kindness to others — taking care of her mother-in-law, Ellie Norris Moss, until her death at the age of 102 and doting on everyone’s animals.

A true “Steel Magnolia,” she raised her children as a single parent and did everything in her power to make them feel as though they never went without. Her kindness was also extended to those outside of her family as well. She was known as a “bee charmer,” always welcoming in strangers and sweetly charming them with her conversation, including Mormons and Jehovah’s Witness as they canvassed her neighborhood.

Their visits to her home always became more frequent as they enjoyed visiting with her, sometimes not even talking about the bible or religion. At one time, a group had a standing supper invitation every Saturday night. Her favorite things included a strong cup of coffee, watching the LSU Tigers, collecting spar kly jewelry, and bragging about her grandchildren.

Our family is forever grateful for the at-home care given by her daughter, Mary Catherine, for many years. Special thanks to her caregivers and angels on earth the last few months — Madi, Emilee, Morgan, and Baylee.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John Christian Baker, Sr. and Mary Sue Rains; her sister, Margaret Baker Kelly (Arthur); brother, John C. “Bub” Baker, Jr. (Cynthia); and niece, Sue Ann Kelly.

Those left to cherish her memory include her children, Mary Catherine Moss, Libby Moss-Thompson (Dr. Bruce Thompson), and Drew F. Moss III; grandchildren, Dr. Melissa Meghan Thompson, Bruce Thompson, Jr., Amber Moss Elworth (Steve), Logan Moss Basham (Richard); greatgrandchild, Jenny Kate Basham; dearest sister-inlaw, Martha Chase Moss; daughter-in-law, Debbie Bennett (Jeff); nieces and nephews, Christina Kelly Best, Dr. John Kelly (Debbie), Michael Kelly (Carolyn), Art Kelly, Alice Lynn Baker, Judy O’Neal Williams (Michael), Paula O’Neal (Debra), Bill Moss, Michael Moss (Angelica); many great nieces and great nephews; and her loving rescue pup, Chloe. Hallelujah and Praise the Lord for her journey. We wish her eternal peace and the best view of bluebonnets each season.

She is now a guardian angel watching over all those whom she loved. Her words of wisdom would be - get your education, be kind to one another, and love your animals. A private service will be held at a later time in Denison, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to 4 Paws in Ruston, or the nonprofit of your choice. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www. kilpatrickfuneralhomes. com.